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The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Family Relationships, Affective Science, and Minority Health (FAM) Lab (Mercado Lab)


Our competitive Research Intensives program places high-achieving high school students in professional working labs alongside distinguished faculty, graduate and undergraduate students.

Research Intensive in the Family Relationships, Affective Science, and Minority Health (FAM) Lab (Mercado Lab)

The FAM lab conducts a range of research methods (Qualitative Interviews, Experimental Protocols, Biomarker collection, and Home Visits) to understand how close relationships in the lives of adolescents impact their mental and physical health. One of the primary studies in the lab is exploring the lived experiences of youth of Latin American/Hispanic heritage, and how stressful experiences such as discrimination exposure are related to their biological functioning through the measurement of steroid hormones such as cortisol. Students working in the FAM lab will be trained to conduct interviews with families in the field and help manage and process survey data. Learn more.

The Mercado Lab can host 3 students.


Program Overview

During this program, high school students will assist UMass faculty and graduate students in research labs while learning about research methodologies and contributing to ongoing research studies. Each student will create and present a research poster to faculty, fellow students, friends and family at a poster session at the end of the program.

Students will come away with an introduction to the field of Psychology, firsthand experience with university-level research, and an understanding of opportunities that exist for undergraduate students at a major R1 university such as UMass Amherst.



For all Research Intensives applications: In your statement of interest, please include 3 lab choices from our list of available labs along with a brief explanation of your interest in each one.